In my last post, we discussed the different ways that inclusion ministries get started. It’s important to remember that there are no “one way” streets in this kind of ministry; many avenues for merging into this ministry exist! Choose the one that is right for your church and the families you serve.
BUT…don’t go it alone! As with most ministries, special needs are best addressed by a team. After all, we’re the Body of Christ, and we need the gifts of everyone to be a complete community. We only need to look to the long-standing public school method of identifying and educating kids with disabilities to know that a team approach works!
Here are some tips for creating your team:
- Identify “stakeholders” from all areas of your church: facilities, Children’s Ministry, leadership (elder board or pastor), parents of kids with special needs, parents of typically developing kids, medical/educational professionals from the church or community
- Invite anyone who might be interested. Remember: this is a ministry of inclusion. Begin your ministry with a culture of acceptance and model that everyone who has a willing heart has gifts that can and should be used!
- Find another church with a similar ministry. There is no need to re-create the wheel! Invite the advice and counsel of other leaders, especially those who are connected in your community.
Let’s go team!
Stay tuned: we’ll discuss creating policies and procedures that make sense in our next post!
I’m sorry that I’m just getting a chance to read these, Katie. What a great series! Thanks for getting all this out there!
Your three points on team creation are magnificent! I’d like to throw something into the ring to go along with your third point. Getting together with other churches is vital in many aspects of ministry creation in addition to growing and sustaining the ministry as well.
Here in Indianapolis, we have a quarterly meeting called the Disability Ministry Connection where leaders get together to discuss their ministries. We talk about challenges, successes and brainstorm ideas for future events / growth. This meeting is for leaders of disability ministries regardless of how long or how developed their ministry is. It’s a true blessing!
Love this input, Aaron…you are SO right on with the notion of staying connected! We worked with another group in Iowa that does the same thing, and it’s a great support for their network of churches. THANK YOU for all you are doing from the Kingdom…we think you guys are awesome!